04
Jun
10

Dear A,

Dear Amy,

I would like to say that I didn’t let you surprise and disappoint me again. I would like to say that after all these years of watching you care more about the bottle than your kids or even yourself, being thrilled when you “got sober” only to be crushed, yet again by your agonizing fall off the wagon, not just once, but over, and over, and over again, that I was immune to your good moments and have come to completely distrust your words and actions. I would love to tell you that since I knew that inevitably this moment would come, I wasn’t devastated by your lack of will power, strength, caring, motivation or the fact that once again, you refuse to take full and total responsibility for your actions.

The fact is that I was surprised and disappointed that after nine months of sobriety, doing well within the program set out for you by the state and the fact that you were about to get your kids back, you decided for whatever selfish reason to drink again. I thought, however, that since you stopped drinking after the first double shot the day before mother’s day and immediately turned yourself in to the proper authorities, you had learned, that even if you fall back, you know that the safety and welfare of your kids come first. After this fuck up I have realized that the only reason you did the “right thing” was because you knew that if you did it first, the courts would see that you were at least taking responsibility of your actions and were regaining the control that you had previously lacked. You play the system like a fiddle and you are Charlie Daniels. You know how to manipulate everyone and everything and instead of working hard to fix yourself and make things right, you work twice as hard to find every possible way around the rules.

I have not become immune to your fuck ups. I still find myself falling for all the things you have done right and my heart fills with joy and my hopes get inflated and in the end, everything comes crashing down around us all. Everyone in the situation suffers. Your children are once again devastated, Grandma and Grandpa’s future plans have to remain on hold indefinitely, Ted and I watch a young woman’s faith in the world shred into tiny pieces. Meanwhile, you get more tattoos, create a whole new home with brand new furniture, game systems, televisions… Everyone else is suffering financially and the kids don’t have parents and you’ve ruined Andrea’s entire senior year, the kids hate almost everything and everyone, everyone’s life is at a standstill and the list goes on and on. You, however get to go to bars, parties, reunions, and you get to play with the kids when it suits you. You complain when the state talks about making you pay child support, even after you collected Scott’s money and food stamps meant for a family of 5 for three months after the kids were taken. You’re having the time of your life living for yourself and not seeming to give a shit about your kids or the people who are taking care of them. You complain about having to do any of the things that any parent does on a daily basis and then bitch that you don’t have your full parental rights. You are so selfish.

And I am devastated by the fact that you can’t seem to stay sober. I am sick of hearing about how you have to do this for yourself and you can’t do it for anyone else, including your kids. I am sick of hearing how AA is such a help to you when one of their regularly used phrases is “I am powerless over my addiction.” You are NOT powerless. You have the choice to NOT buy booze. You have the choice NOT to put a drink to your lips and you HAVE the CHOICE to take responsibility for the fact that you care more about having fun and doing what you want than making your kids happy. And I am even more sick of hearing about how you’re sick. That this is a disease. Alcoholism is a CHOICE. Alcoholism is a road that you choose to take, and even though there are several streets that can and will take you off this road, you choose to continue on. You’re not sick, you’re weak, you’re cowardly and you’re selfish.

You blame your set backs on so many things, but lately, it seems that you are blaming the failure of your marriage the most. That is funny, because you have already moved on to the next man who will support you and enable you. You have hidden this fact from everyone except a few people. How can you expect me, Andrea, or anyone else for that fact to believe that you are so upset over the break up of your marriage that you can’t help but drink, when you’re already head over heels in love and planning your next wedding on the beach with flowers in your hair. You’ve told me for quite some time that you’re sick of Michael. More recently, at the TDM, you said that you drank because you feeling overwhelmed by the fact that you’re almost done with school, you’re about to start an internship that will most likely lead to a full time job, you’re about to get the kids back… Really? What happens when they come home and you’re under ten feet of stress? What then? What makes you think that if you’re drinking over the possibilities of all the good things, you won’t race to the bottom of the bottle when things go wrong?

I am beginning to think that you like having things the way they are. You get weekend visits with your kids if you want, you don’t have to pay to support them, and you get to do whatever the hell you want the rest of the time.

I am done. I am finished feeling guilty for making the call that took your kids from you, because I know that they weren’t safe with you. I honestly wish that I had done it a lot earlier. When you gave Andrea a black eye, for instance. RIGHT THEN I should have made the call rather than waiting for Adrienne to take me to the school and then calling CPS with me. I am done trying to regain our friendship because honestly, how can I be friends with someone who can treat her kids like they’re not worth anything to her, and a person who I can’t trust and a person who can lie to my face? My only connection to you now is through your children. I love your kids and care about their welfare. I don’t try to sabotage their lives like I have witnessed you do. Like I have witnessed you allow Michael to do. I have given up a lot to make sure that Andrea has as much as I can give her and you know what? I think that even though I can’t give her her own room or make sure she has her privacy, I make sure she has almost everything she needs and I try to give her some of what she wants. The one thing I can’t give her that she needs is a real mother. You have proven that you’re not a mother. You’re a drunk. I hope, even if I don’t believe, that you’ll get sober. I hope that you find whatever it is you need to find peace without a drink. I hope that you can somehow regain the trust from your children. More so, I hope that they will not become jaded and will be able to trust people. That they will know true love when it is given to them. I hope that they don’t always wait for the other shoe to drop. If they turn out to be normal, healthy adults, I will be surprised, and I will not give you any credit for it. You are on your own now. You have your friends who enable you, but what good will they be for you in the long run?

I don’t want anything to do with you now. I hope you’re happy with the fact that you missed your daughter’s first and last day of her senior year, her first and last homecoming, her first and last prom, her graduation from high school, her 18th birthday and soon, you’ll miss her graduation party, first day of college and seeing her move into her first apartment. Is the bottle really worth all that?

Ted and I have stood in as her parents for a year now. This has been a tumultuous year for the kids. Ted and I shouldn’t have been the ones standing with the parents at graduation to receive the praise of the graduates and the staff of the school. And as much as I loved being able to stand there for her, I also felt the biggest feeling of guilt. Not the guilt that you think I should have, but the guilt that I hadn’t done something about your drinking sooner. Maybe if I had, you would have been sober and able to stand there at Andrea’s graduation yourself. Where you should have been. Instead, I am positive that you sat at home, blaming everyone but yourself for the fact that you were not welcome to see Andrea’s most important accomplishment to date. You chose the bottle, you chose self satisfaction, you chose self pity, you chose hatred, you chose deceit and most importantly, you chose YOU.

Do you have any clue to what this year has been like for Andrea? You have ruined just about every beautiful moment this year could have held for her. She wasn’t there to see the kid’s first day of school this year. She didn’t have the chance to talk to them afterwards to find out how it went for them and on top of it, you call me, wasted out of your mind and pretend to be okay, you pretend to be genuinely curious about her first day; She didn’t didn’t get to go with them on Halloween, steal their candy or give them some of her own; She missed Thanksgiving with them, even though she got an “after Thanksgiving” with them, it just wasn’t the same. Putting up the Christmas tree, for the first time without them, damn near crippled her emotionally. I watched her spiral into a depression that no amount of Christmas music, love or happiness could heal. I watched her as she sat, depressed, wishing with all of her soul that she could be with the family that you so selfishly tore apart. Christmas was once again without them and it was near impossible to try to convince her that things were going to be okay; When Andrea got her Gold Key for her photo portfolio and had it go to Nationals, where was the huge fanfare? She had me and Ted and everything else was afar. She needed her siblings to help her celebrate; She rang in the New Year without the kids. Once again another first that she wasn’t expecting so soon; Valentines day felt like a slap in the face; You ruin her LAST day of high school by being wasted, and when we tried to help you, you lied to her on the phone and to me, straight to my face. I am convinced you only told on yourself that time because it got you out of trouble the previous relapse; On her graduation day, you contact her by text, though she expressly and in front of everyone at the TDM said that she did NOT want you to contact her. You then gave her your famous fucking attitude after she let you know, AGAIN, that she didn’t want you to contact her. But the part of this year that I got to witness the most ruin of was her 18th birthday. You twisted my words and made me the bad guy and didn’t come to greet Andrea when she got off the bus to Chicago. You know damn well that when I called off the dinner for the 18th, I was NOT calling off the welcome home. I specifically said that “Dinner was off.” When you called me on the way to the busses, pissed off and with a shit ton of attitude, I was appalled and shocked. You didn’t come because you were already in your pajamas, yet the next day, you talk about how you were at a party or bonfire shortly before. You could have changed and driven the few miles to the school to be there for your oldest daughter. How many more moments in at least Andrea’s life are you willing to ruin? Sadly, you’re doing it to the littles as well, but they don’t talk about it as much. Instead, they hold everything inside, get bitter, angry and hurt. Alice spent an entire school year leaving class, most of the time on several occasions per day, to get hugs from perfect strangers. Matthew has become more and more aggressive both verbally and mentally. You have continually raised their hopes, knowing what the truth is, and then when your promises were left unfulfilled, you let Grandma and Grandpa be the bad guys and tell them what we all had known before but what you were too much of a coward to admit to them; You still weren’t fit to take them home. And every time that happened, it was someone else’s fault. Like it always is. You continue to leave behind you, a wake of broken hopes, shattered dreams, horrifying nightmares, dying faith and a warped sense of trust.

You’re also missing another pivotal moment in Andrea’s life. She has met someone that I think she’s really beginning to fall for. She’s in a really happy and healthy relationship and now everyone in the family has met her except you, Scott and Michael. She’s moving into a whole new stage of her life and she’s transitioning very well despite the road blocks you keep throwing in her path. Every time she moves ahead, you do something to step in her way.

Look, I know that you have a lot of demons that you need to face. Fuck, we all do. But you’re taking your sweet time dealing and in the mean time, you’re missing the kids’ lives and they’re missing out on a regular life of their own. Get on with it already or just let go. If you can’t make your own life work, quit fighting to get the kids back. Let them be adopted so they can stop waking each and every day wondering what the hell is going to happen today. So they can adjust to a way of life and know that it will be consistent and safe. You can’t have it both ways if you want them to come out healthy. What are you teaching them with all of this inconsistency and drinking and failing and not taking responsibility for your own mistakes? You’re creating people who may not function properly in the world as adults. You also have to stop letting everyone else be the bad guys. You need to step up and tell the kids that it’s YOUR fault they’re not home. Not mine or Andrea’s or the court’s or even your “sickness”. YOU need to tell them that you are an alcoholic and YOU choose to drink repeatedly. YOU choose to put YOU before them, because Amy, that’s exactly what you do and have been doing for a long time. You constantly let everyone else do your dirty work so that the kids continue to love and adore you. All you’re doing is setting them up for a huge let down.

I may not have kids of my own. Believe me, you have and will NEVER let me forget that. I know that you think I have no clue how to raise a child, especially one of yours. And I know that you think that I have done everything in my power to steal your children from you, but I would give anything for them to have a mother who they can look up to and be able to trust with every bit of their being. And I think I know quite a bit about raising kids, especially yours. I think that for the most part I am someone they can look up to a little and definitely trust. I think that they all know that they’re needs will ALWAYS go before my own. I would give ANYTHING for your children. I would give my life to save them both mentally and physically. I wish I could take away the hurt of the past several years, but especially the last one. I wish I could have given them the childhood that they deserved rather than the one filled with booze, possibly coke back in the trailer, fighting, car accidents, jail, being hit in the face by her mother and years of living with a stepfather who always and in almost every aspect came before the kids. Don’t get me started on Michael.

I have no clue why you married Michael. It’s pretty obvious that you don’t and haven’t loved him in a long time, if ever. You have stayed with him through so many things that would make any real, loving mother get up and run. You allowed him to stay after he stole thousands of dollars from you, blamed Anthony for stealing from you, and you allowed your family to live without heat and hot water for quite a while so that he could have everything on his truck that he not only needed, but wanted. I can’t count the number of times he would fill his truck with all the best name brand snacks and food and then when he’d leave, there was almost nothing left in the house for the five people left. He pawned your wedding ring for money to have fun instead of paying bills. YOU CHOSE to marry him still, knowing that all he was was a child who wanted nothing but a ready made family so he could either cover the fact that he’s bisexual from his family or just because he was too lazy to start one on his own. And because you are too scared to be by yourself, you latched on to the first man who you knew had little enough backbone to keep you in check despite what he would and had taken from the family. Michael is a liar and a manipulator and an enabler of the very worst kind and you have repeatedly put him before your kids. The sad thing is that now that you’re ready to get rid of him, it’s not for the health, safety and welfare of you or the kids, it’s because once again, you have found someone to replace him.

Speaking of Tony… Really? For twenty years (or so) you have hidden his true existence from the kids. Then, like a flash flood, you tell them of this life you had with him, and how you gave birth, not alone like you’ve been telling me and the kids for almost 2 decades, but with your fiancee and his family. You have let the kids believe what Scott told them, even though Scott’s been gone for over 6 years now. You allowed Anthony to be lied to about how he got his name and you wonder why the bigs have a hard time believing what you have to say. Tony may be a nice guy, but I am having a hard time believing that he’s THAT ready for a divorce. He sounds pretty happy on line. Are you really willing to break up a family so you can have the security that you need from being with another man to support and enable you? You seem ready to pick up and run away with him and the littles don’t even know he exists yet. You’re going to get them home, life will just begin to settle down and become normal again and then out Michael will go, in Tony will come and then they will be in turmoil again trying to figure out what the hell is happening in their lives again. Why are you always so willing to give up their emotional well being for your own needs?

I will no longer keep the hope of your sobriety in the forefront of my head or heart. I will always secretly wish for it, but not for you… For your kids. Man up, get your shit together and be a real mom to the only two kids you have left who respect and trust you. You’ll regret not doing it if you don’t do it soon.

I miss my friend and I know that I will never have her back. I miss the woman whose love for her children used to show on her face, in her eyes. I miss the woman who treated me with mutual respect instead of like a lesser person and more recently, an enemy. I am sick of hearing you talk to me about what you’ve lost and how I am the one who took it all from you. I am so sick of you telling me that our conversations, the ones that revolve around the daughter who has been raising herself for the past several years, shouldn’t be spoken about to the “child” they’re about. Doesn’t she have the right to know what her mother is saying about her? I am sick of being told that my relationship with your kids has been inappropriate because they have chosen to confide in me rather than their drunk or high most of the time mother. I feel like you have been competing in this battle for your daughter and the funny thing is that it was never a competition to me. She’s your daughter, I’m her aunt. I have been repeatedly baffled by the fact that you have tried to make me choose between our friendship and the friendship with your kids, when what I was giving them was more than a “friendship”, but a place to unload the issues that they could no longer bring to you. I miss you, and I know I’ll never have you back. That absolutely kills me and I have to wonder if you feel the same. The sad thing is that weather you do or don’t doesn’t even matter. That person is gone, amends can not and will not ever be made. I will stand by the choices I made for the rest of my life. Will you?

I also want to reiterate that Andrea has now made it abundantly clear to both you and Scott. You are not welcome to contact her until either she contacts you first or you are sober. I don’t mean sober for now, I mean sober for life. Andrea’s life is a fresh one now. She’s starting over. Lucky for her, this is a regular time for a huge life change. When she’s ready for you, if you haven’t gotten sober yet, she will come to you. She’ll take her court ordered visitations, which I find funny that you’re upset about, and she’ll deal with you when and how she needs to. Your display of selfishness on the afternoon of her graduation day was not only ignorant, but sad. She knows that you’re thinking about her. You didn’t need to push yourself on her and then get an attitude when her response to you wasn’t full of glee. This day was NOT about you or how you are feeling or what you felt you needed to say. This day was about her, her wants, her wishes and you couldn’t even respect her that much. Regardless of what you may think, she’s doing very well without your bullshit and drama. You have no right to be angry or upset with her for her reactions. They are justified and you know it. If you disagree, then it just goes to show how far you still need to go before you will “recover” from your issues. It isn’t until you can completely, one hundred percent, take all responsibility of your wrongdoings before you’ll realize that most of the shit in your life is YOUR fault and no one else’s.

The safety plan is a joke! You have been allowed to drink without major consequences. You lost 45 days with the kids coming home. You didn’t lose your visitation with the kids, though you should have lost some of it considering that you’ve now drank twice when they were either home or on their way home. You’ve learned how to make your “relapses” seem like they’re okay so long as you tell on yourself once you have gotten caught. I truly believe that there have been more ”relapses”, I just think that you haven’t gotten caught until now.

It’s time for a major change on everyone’s part. We’re not backing down any more. We’re not keeping quiet any more and we’re never going to quit fighting for the rights of the children whose rights you have stolen. The tides are changing and if you’re still unwilling to do what needs to be done, we’re waiting to step up and do what we need to do to ensure that the kids will have what’s rightfully theirs; Love, health, safety, consistency, faith, trust and a life full of happiness.

Aimée

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Vomitus of the Brainus © Aimée Easton 2006 - 2011 All Rights Reserved Material contained on this site are under copyright, whether my own or someone else's. The material here is published strictly for personal use, and may not be copied to any other place without prior permission. I have borrowed or linked resources from elsewhere and I have given credit to the source from where I got material. Any form of copying or distribution, may face legal penalty.

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